Crime Does Not Pay was very much like the radio show Gangbusters in that they both featured criminals who were apprehended and every episode ended with a message about the immorality of breaking the law.
From 1949-1951 the show aired on WMGM in New York. It aired one more year on the Mutual network in 1952. Listeners could tune in every Monday to hear a half-hour show about crime. Originally airing on Monday evenings, the show switched to Wednesday nights about halfway through its run and many of the episodes aired in repeats. In fact, the last year of the show consisted entirely of repeated shows recorded earlier.
The show was transcribed and had canned sound effects, which purists didn’t approve of, yet although brief Crime Does Not Pay had a successful run.
Most of the stars of the radio show were B-movie stars that had appeared in films produced by MGM. However from time to time a major star would drop by and play a guest role for the series. Some of the actors playing in the series included Ed Begley, Lionel Stander, and Bella Lugosi.
One of the things that set Crime Does Not Pay apart from some other series is that it specifically sought to teach a message. It highlighted crimes such as murder and racketeering, but it was quick to point out the penalty of participating in these underworld activities.
Often the crimes reflected real stories ripped from the headlines. For example the episode Body of the Crime reflected the murder of the Lindbergh baby. This mirroring of major news stories made the series even more intriguing. However, unlike some of the real criminals every episode concluded with the wrongdoer behind bars. After all, crime does not pay!